Youth Camp Overview

How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the rare opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what new things a child can learn when you take away the distractions of modern technology and put them in a beautiful forest with skilled teachers.

All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village. Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies, and a simpler way of life. Campers will work with their hands to create useful tools and learn skills that were essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available.

Every member of our team, whether a paid staff member or a volunteer, undergoes a strict screening and application process, and is required to participate in First Aid and CPR training. Our nurse is on site 24/7 and our pool is monitored closely by a certifed lifeguard. Meals are prepared by food industry professionals. We are fully state certified.

 

 

Curriculum

Visit our Curriculum page for details.

Sword Play Falconry Blacksmithing Archery

Accommodations

Campers have the option of sleeping in Sherwood Castle or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions.

Sherwood Castle is an indoor, climate controlled environment with bunk beds.  A temporary wall separates the 40 lords from the 30 ladies in residence. All Dragons (age 7-9) will be assigned to quarters in the Castle (with strict rules against fire breathing and anything more than an occasional moment of flatulence).

The Merry Men’s Pavilion and Merry Women’s Pavilion are large, military-grade tents which stand over a raised wooden platform. They are insulated and climate controlled. Our more adventurous campers will enjoy this option because, although it is a bit more luxurious than traditional camping, campers still get to be closer to nature and enjoy the night air and the sound of crickets and denizens of the forest.  Campers choosing this accommodation option will usually have more personal space to spread out in than those sleeping in the Castle.  The Pavilions are less populated and less noisy.

Accommodations options are first-come, first-served.

Schedule

Overall

In 2017 we will have 3 sessions of 6 nights each (drop off Sunday, pick up Saturday).  If campers are attending multiple sessions consecutively, they can stay with us on that “bridge” Saturday night and enjoy extra-special activities at no extra charge!  (We’ll do their laundry for no additional charge, too)

  • Session I  – Jul 8-14
  • Session II – Jul 15-21
  • Session III – Jul 22-28

Now, with some details…

Sundays

The week begins Sunday afternoon when campers are dropped off.  Activities for the rest of the day are focused on site orientation, learning about the creatures of the forest, and everyone getting to know each other.

Mondays through Fridays

Campers will wake and eat breakfast by 8:00am. During their day they will attend 4-5 classes, enjoy 3 healthy, delicious meals, several healthy snacks, have time to cool off in the pool, and have a nap or free game time if desired.  There is a camp-wide post dinner activity – usually something theatrical or a large group game.  Showers occur nightly after this activity, followed by storytime while campers are in their beds.  Lights are out by 10:00pm.  Fridays are all elective, so campers can revisit the classes they liked the most for additional instructionor try something new.

Saturdays

Campers wake and eat breakfast by 9:00am.  The entire camp proceeds to the theatre to watch the performances that campers have been working on in Theatre class, and then campers are dismissed.

“Bridge Campers”

From departure time Saturday until Sunday arrival time the next day, “Bridge campers” who are with us multiple weeks will get to have special instruction and enjoy some unstructured time, always under adult supervision of course, before the new week begins.

Meals

We offer a healthy, kid friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.   Our catering is performed by Brou HaHa, who has a solid history serving patrons at Sherwood Forest Faire since its inception (2010). Michael Smith and his amazing team can accommodate any dietary restrictions.

Tuition

Tuition per child per week: $795.  Your $300 deposit is due with the camper’s application, and the balance is due by May 31st.

Discounts

$50 discount for each of the following:

  • paying tuition in full and completing all preliminary paperwork by December 31 (Note: there is a reduced discount of $25 for doing so by March 31st, if you miss the first deadline)
  • each session after the first that your family books
  • each new camper a prior attendee traps… err, gathers into the fold

Discounts are cumulative, so you can qualify for more than one of the above discounts.  The first 2 discounts described are applied to the current year’s tuition bill.  The referral discount will be settled sometime later in the year, at which time you can decide if you’d like to receive a check, credit toward next year’s tuition or credit toward next year’s Faire tickets, Friends of Faire passes, etc.

Capacity

  • We will accept a maximum of 180 campers per session: 30 in the 7-9 age bracket, 75 age 10-12 and 75 age 13-15
  • Of those a maximum of 90 will be assigned to sleep in the Great Hall and the rest divided between the Pavilions.

Checking Availability & Making Payments

Our registration system is now completely online.  Register your camper here.

Refund Requests & Cancellations

  • If your camper decides not to attend because we cannot honor their curriculum or accommodations preference, then you are eligible for a full refund of your deposit regardless of the application date
  • In cases where you have booked a spot but have to cancel for any other reason, up to May 31st you may receive a full refund. Starting June 1st, no refunds will be given but your payment can be applied to a future year

Parent Packet

Consult this document for pickup & drop-off schedules, a packing list, and the agreement your camper must sign in order to participate. -> Parent Packet

Want to Know More?

  • Join our Facebook page to see photos and updates about camp
  • View our Flickr  page if you don’t like Facebook; it has all our photos too!
  • See what other parents have said about Sherwood Forest Summer Camp on our Testimonials page
  • Have a look at the 16 page full color spread that Renaissance Magazine published in issue #109 in March 2017.
  • Contact us with questions or to request our References document (a few parents and campers who have agreed to speak to prospective families).

FAQs

  • When are payments due?
    • Your $300 deposit is due with the camper’s application, and the balance is due by May 31.
  • Can I make partial payments?
    • Yes.  To do this you must pay by check and mail to our PO Box.  The address is Sherwood Forest Summer Camp, PO Box 10816, Houston TX 77206.  Payments must still be completed by May 31.
  • Are there any scholarships?
    • Not yet.  But this is something we really want to do in the future.
  • Can I speak to my camper on the phone while they are at Camp?
    • For the sake of preserving the illusion of our being in a medieval village to the maximum extent possible, our preference is to avoid phone communications from home except in the event of an emergency or extreme homesickness.  Calls home can make mild cases of homesickness worse, and if dozens of campers are being pulled out of class each day to chat for “just one minute,” imagine how disruptive that would be!
    • You can expect that should anything require your attention we will address it with you immediately
    • If you are worried and want to check how things are going with your camper, feel free to email or call our main number. We can check with your camper’s counselor to get a firsthand report of how they are doing
  • Can I email my camper while they are at camp?
    • Yes, but this is a one-way communication.  Campers love hearing from family members.  If you send an email to campermail@sherwoodforestsummercamp.com, we will print it on parchment paper and deliver it to them the next day at lunch.
  • Can my camper contact me while they are at camp?
    • We provide ample letter-writing supplies, postage stamps, and encouragement to campers free of charge!  We will even address the envelopes for them if they do not know their address… but writing an actual letter is up to them 🙂
  • How do you deal with homesickness?
    • We have found that homesickness is something worried about by parents far more than actually occurs.  When we do have a homesick camper, we divert them from that train of thought with fun activities.  Campers are kept so busy that they rarely have time to be sad about being away from home.  Our experience has been that after that first night, even those rare cases of homesickness tend to go away.  However, in some cases diversion is not sufficient.  In those cases we do consult parents and will let the child speak to the parent if the parent deems appropriate.  Our hope is that if it gets to this point, the parent will verbally comfort the child and assure them that they need to stick with it and try to enjoy the rest of the week.  When a camper receives the impression from parents that going home early is not an option, that is usually enough for us to help them get back on track.
  • If my camper is staying multiple weeks, do they need to pack for multiple weeks?
    • Campers who are staying multiple weeks will have their laundry done free of charge on weekends.
  • Can I provide a care package for my camper?
    • Yes!  Our suggestion is that you secretly prepare it before camp begins, and surreptitiously drop it off when you drop off your camper.  Put a date on it so We will deliver it to your camper on Wednesday.  Please do not include food, electronics, or weapons from any period in care packages.
  • We have made the choice to not immunize our child.  Can they still attend?

    • Unfortunately, no.
  • Do I have to use a specific form for the Physical Examination?
    • We will accept a form provided by your doctor, the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America, a school athletics program and other similar forms.  The important thing is that the form confirm your camper’s ability to participate in outdoor physical activities.  We do have our own form which you may download here.

 

In Falconry Class with Master Kevin, campers learn the basics of how to tie falconers’ knots, they learn about various birds’ habits and requirements, and if they exhibit appropriate caution and patience they even get to hold a falcon! On the day shown, campers are learning how to make a Treasure Candle. They select items such as semi-precious stones and trinkets to place at various places in their candle as it cools; these items will then be rediscovered as the candle burns. Master Braider Andrea teaches basic techniques to campers who are new to braiding, and challenges any who possess a modicum of experience with advanced lessons.
Campers collaborate to put together a performance for their parents on their departure day. They work hard at rehearsal, often focusing on techniques such as projection and self-immersion. In Herb Lore with Uilliam MacArtuir, campers roam the village and stop to learn the properties of various plants, especially the ones that are dangerous. Here and there they even have an opportunity to taste edibles. Blacksmithing with Master Tiger and Mistress Erin is not for the faint of heart! Utmost care is taken to train campers in safety measures before they are allowed to strike red-hot iron and form it into useful objects.
Each evening after dinner Campers engage in a special activity. Pictured here is a Poi lesson given by Master Thom Thumb. In Pottery with Master Steward, campers learn how to form and decorate a clay mug which they can then utilize at the glorious feast on their final night. In Music class with Master Roy, campers learn the basics of rhythm and listening to each other, as well as learning to be less self-conscious in front of each other.